On the very same day that an email from Ali Larter appeared in my inbox, I was researching her first cookbook Kitchen Revelry: A Year of Festive Menus from My Home to Yours. It was, no doubt, a sign. The cookbook is lovely, with intimate, gorgeous photography from famed food photographer Amy Neunsinger. I want to make this simple Apple Crostata now. Thanks for sharing with Eat Boutique, Ali! -Maggie
I love going to the farmers market and bringing home whatever looks the freshest and most mouth-watering. When apples come in, I make my free form crostata. I’m a sucker for any treat that adults love and I can serve my son. I usually use aged gouda, my Mom adds sharp cheddar, but try whatever cheese is your fave. It’s so easy to do… it’s hard to mess it up, and healthy enough to eat dessert leftovers for breakfast.
You can turn the dish into a fun Fall adventure, too: find an apple farm near you, pack up your family and/or friends, and spend an afternoon apple picking (pack a picnic and drink some cider!) It’s all the excuse I need to spend a weekend in Ojai, about an hour and a half from Los Angeles, and stop by the apple farm there on the way home for a truly homemade crostata.
Have a fabulous Fall! Ali xx
Serves 6 to 8
Ingredients for crust:
- 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3/4 tablespoon kosher salt
- 12 tablespoons (1.5 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons (or more) ice water
Ingredients for filling:
- 3 to 4 apples, peeled, cored, quarters, and thinly sliced, about 3 cups (I like Granny Smith)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated aged Gouda cheese
To make the crust:
- Blend the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and pulse using on/off turns until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 3 tablespoons ice water through the feed tube and blend just until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if the dough is dry. Dough can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated. (Chill dough for 10 minutes before rolling.)
- Using floured hands or a rolling pin, push out the dough disk on lightly floured parchment paper, forming a 12-inch round. Transfer the parchment paper with the crust to large rimmed baking sheet. Chill the dough while preparing the filling.
To make the filling:
- Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Combine the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and lemon zest in a medium bowl; toss to blend. Stir in the butter pieces. Mound the apple filling in the center of the rolled-out dough round, leaving 1.5 inch plain border. Gently fold the dough border up over the apple filling, forming a rim, and pleating the dough edge as needed. Pinch any crackers together with your fingers. Sprinkle the Gouda cheese over the top of the filling.
- Bake the crostata until apples are tender and crust is crisp and golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Run a long sharp knife under the crostata to loosen it from the parchment and to prevent sticking. Slide a flat pan bottom under the crostata and transfer to a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve slightly warm, with a dollop of creme fraiche if desired.
Photos courtesy of Amy Neunsinger/St Martin’s Press. Recipe appears courtesy of St Martin’s Press.
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